Many older Americans know that they need to prepare for their death. They need to have a series of estate planning documents in place to deal with their affairs in case of a medical emergency or their passing. These documents -- including a power of attorney, health proxy and will -- can help make sure a person is taken care of and comfortable before and after death. Without these documents in place, a Michigan family may have to struggle through the probate courts to be able to finalize a person's affairs.
While estate planning is necessary for older Americans, many young people forget that they also need a plan in case of emergency. In particular, college-aged adults should make sure they have a basic estate plan in place. When people go off to college, they may still think of themselves as under the control of their parents. Similarly, parents -- who are often still paying for all the student's expenses -- may see their child as a kid. However, in the eyes of the law, college students are adults once they reach age 18. Therefore, in cases of emergency where medical decisions, end-of-life care or other major financial decisions need to be made, parents are not going to have control without the appropriate legal documents.